Rugby League Live 4 gameplay revealed

Adam Bagnall Roar Pro

By , Adam Bagnall is a Roar Pro

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    With the release date for Big Ant’s latest rugby league video game fast approaching, we were treated to an extended gameplay video, featuring the Sharks taking on the Storm at ANZ Stadium in the grand final.

    My first reactions were mixed, and if you were on the fence about forking out your hard-earned coin for this, well, you may be inclined to hold onto your money for a while.

    Commentary is bland, with Andrew Voss back to throw out generic phrases, ones that we first heard, what, nearly ten years ago? Some Englishman, whom 99.8 per cent of Aussie league fans will not have heard of, joins Voss, and together they dish out pre-recorded phrases that you hope will have something to do with what’s actually happening onscreen.

    The Storm make a mistake in the opening minutes and the Sharks have a full set 10m out. The awkward passing in the game is there for all to see. Instead of crisp, flat passes that hit players on the chest, the ball floats towards the receiver, like they are playing with an inflatable ball on a windy day.

    This prevents the outside backs from running onto the ball and generating any kind of momentum. I witnessed better passing mechanics in EA’s Rugby 2005.

    On one occasion the pass from dummy half travels about 10m straight back, as if the Sharks are setting up for a field goal, but James Maloney simply runs straight into the defence, wasting a tackle.

    The Storm hold on, with Suliasa Vunivalu taking an easy bomb in goal and from the 20m tap a Storm player palms off a Sharks player and races 20m downfield.

    Late in the count the Storm spread it wide to Josh Addo-Carr with a 30m pass, but instead of racing onto the ball like any NRL-level winger, he is stationary, well behind the play, and the move breaks down.

    The Storm punt it downfield, and the Sharks work their way out of trouble, but their clearing kick on the last is somehow caught by a Storm player in the ruck and they end up scoring through what I guess is supposed to pass off as Cameron Munster. A rather youthful looking Cameron Smith converts to give the Storm a 6-0 lead.

    The second half highlights much of the game’s short comings with players returning the ball from the kickoff then passing 10m straight backwards just before they are about to be tackled and Sharks players running 25m past the Storm’s defensive line to do nothing, then run back onside.

    On one occasion a Storm player cops a shoulder charge and is lying on the ground, but doesn’t get tackled for some reason and he gets an offload away.

    The AI looks to be as clueless as ever with little to no support play, one out hit ups are pretty much all there is, and there is a lack of desperation when defending the goal-line, players will stand still as the ball is passed mere cm in front of them, instead of going for an intercept, or attempting a tackle.

    Despite all the hype, there appears to be little improvement on Rugby League Live 3 with awkward player movements, clueless AI that seem to get in each other’s way and recycled commentary that adds little to the game.